A call regarding copper theft in Edmond ended with the discovery of an explosive device found under a pickup in Midwest City, police said.
Sunday evening, Edmond Police Officer Mason Long was dispatched on a theft of copper in progress to 3117 St. Fergus Drive. The scene was a structure that was under construction, police said in an incident report filed by Long released Wednesday.
The builder called advising there was a male on scene who had pulled some copper wire out of the house, police said. A witness had seen the suspect pulling the wire out of a wall, police said.
Mason stated the suspect seemed to be intoxicated because he was slurring his words and he was unsteady on his feet. The officer stated the suspect told him he had taken several Xanax pills earlier.
The suspect told Mason he was at the house taking some scrap pieces of wire from the ground, police said. After Mason told him that someone had seen him pulling wire out of the wall he admitted he was stealing copper from the house, but only a little bit, police said.
After the suspect was arrested on complaints of attempted copper theft and public intoxication, Officer Neil Martin told Mason he found a text message in the suspect’s phone about putting a “claymore” under somebody’s car and attempting to light it, police said. Another message urged the suspect to delete the previous one as soon as he read it, police said.
Police spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said the explosive device was located by Edmond and Midwest City bomb technicians in Midwest City.
Midwest City Assistant Police Chief Sid Porter said the device was located under a pickup parked in the driveway of a home in the 1500 block of Lloyd Avenue. Porter said the homemade device consisted of an accelerant and BBs in a plastic container.
In addition to the theft-related complaints, Matthew James Burke, 45, of Edmond, faces a complaint related to manufacturing the device filed by the Midwest City Police Department, police said.
When he attempted to detonate the device, it would not light, Porter said. He did not know to whom the pickup belonged. Apparently, the suspect held a grudge against someone who used to live at the home in Midwest City, Porter said.
“I commend the Edmond Police Department which did an outstanding job,” he said.
Edmond Police Officer James Hamm said the EPD officers did not stop with the arrest. Instead, they kept digging and found clues that led to the discovery of a major crime, Hamm said.
Criminal probable cause paperwork has been filed in Oklahoma County District Court.
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